While the mainstream press spent years reporting breathlessly about suspected “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin in 2016, many of those same news sources are mostly mum after a sub-source for the unverified Steele dossier alleging the conspiracy was charged with lying to the FBI.
Special Counsel John Durham, who was appointed by the Trump administration to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation, charged Steele sub-source Igor Danchenko with five counts of making false statements to the FBI, exposing more of his ties to Democrats. Democratic operative and Clinton ally Charles Dolan, Jr., was one of Danchenko’s primary sources, according to the indictment.
But the latest blow to the Russian collusion narrative did not spur outlets to issue corrections or news networks to dedicate air time to the developments.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., called out what he saw as another dish of media hypocrisy.
“It’s clear that Democrats duped the media into spreading the Russia collusion hoax far and wide for years,” Cotton told Fox News Digital. “But now that we have evidence showing how Clinton and the Democrats manufactured that hoax, the mainstream press suddenly isn’t interested. I wish I could say I’m surprised.”
“At the time, the media explained the 24/7 coverage on the ground that there could be no more significant story than a presidential campaign seeking to rig an election, let alone working with or serving as a conduit of Russian intelligence,” legal scholar Jonathan Turley recalled.
“Durham has now shown it was the other campaign that was serving as a conduit of disinformation and allegedly working with Russian intelligence agents or sources,” Turley told Fox News Digital. “Moreover, he is alleging that the campaign knowingly created these allegations for political purposes. Yet there is now largely crickets in the media beyond perfunctory coverage of indictments.”
“By any measure, this is an unprecedented and chilling allegation,” Turley added. “A major campaign is accused of duping the FBI with false allegations to win an election. The campaign then lied in denying that it funded the dossier until long after the election. Some of the most powerful figures in Washington, including the current National Security Adviser, have been referenced in these indictments.”
But he argued the media’s reaction doesn’t measure the crime.
“The media reaction however ranges from total silence or a collective shrug,” he said. “The legal experts who declared the dossier to be overwhelming evidence of crimes or even treason have simply moved on with little or no recognition of the new information. It is strikingly similar to other false stories like the debunked claim (widely reported as true) that Bill Barr cleared Lafayette Park to arrange a photo op for President Trump.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., blasted the media for being in “cahoots” with Democrats on the collusion narrative. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who was at the center of the Democrats’ crusade against Trump, recently claimed on “The View” that he and his colleagues “couldn’t have known” people were lying to Christopher Steele.
“He has relished this time in the limelight and the Trump impeachment was something that brought him great joy,” Blackburn told Fox News Digital. “He was on center stage … He’s now desperately trying to cover his tracks.”
She said Americans should be reading corrections and hearing apologies from the mainstream media, and that there should be “some serious reviews as to who they were getting their information from.”
The senator even drafted an apology for the above networks to use.
“What they should be telling readers and viewers is that, ‘We apologize that we gave you misinformation, we apologize that we did not look deeper, we accepted things at face value, we apologize that our on air anchors continued to say something that was not true even when it was questioned. We apologize that we never brought you both sides of the story,’” Blackburn suggested.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Jake Gibson contributed to this report